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Spring Cleaning Your Finances

By: Michael Millington


When a new year comes to pass, many people may have an overwhelming feeling to get their lives in order. However, an even stronger moment in time that evokes the need to organize is the springtime. Spring cleaning is the perfect time to put your affairs in order. Any financial hangover from the previous year can be set straight with a few new behaviors, a new budget and a new spring cleaning mentality for your savings and your debt.

 

Organize Your Finances

The first rule of cleaning up you financial life is to have everything in order. Organizing your finances is key to knowing more about you financial habits. The more you know about your finances, the easier it can be to improve your financial situation. While it might be tempting to throw money at your debts and hope they go away after a while, organizing your finances will allow for a much more calculated approach to eliminating debt.

The benefit of organizing your debts rests in the ability to identify financial shortcomings or areas of improvement. Having a functioning monthly budget to use is a great first step towards organizing your finances. One thing that should be considered is how often you overhaul your budget. While dollar amounts for many expenses may not change (such as your rent, mortgage or certain bills), some do fluctuate or become less necessary.

Reassess the items that you budget in every month to make sure they are still relevant. If there is something that doesn’t belong, consider getting rid of it altogether. Removing unnecessary expenses can help to clear up extra funds. This can, in turn, be applied to a savings fund, investment or the payment (or repayment) of a loan or bill. It can act as another step towards ridding yourself of other expenses that siphon money from your income.

 

Collect Relevant Paperwork

While the main amount of your budgeting can be handled through manual means, there are a few things that can be accounted for through physical bills and stubs. Many of these things can be relayed through electronic means in this day and age, but some forms of financial communication are still sent through the mail. More importantly, sensitive information is still delivered through physical mail to avoid cyber theft and other intangible forms of tempering.

Any paperwork that falls into this category should be filed away for future reference. This can refer to bills, legal notices, invoices, account summaries and pay stubs. Most of these documents may serve a purpose if called into question and should never be discarded. A good practice to adopt is to take a picture of any hard document you possess. In the event that you need to send a document to someone (or give them a document), make sure you produce a copy that you might retain the original.

Hard documents like the ones previously mentioned can serve a number of purposes. When looking to dispute a charge or a balance owed, having evidence of previous interactions with the credit providers (or a retail store or service) can help prove your case. When looking to make a large purchase or open a new line of credit, pay stubs can help to establish your regular income to your potential creditors. Having this information on hand will help to make these experiences much smoother for you and others.

 

Check Your Credit Record

Now that you have your immediate finances in order, prioritizing your credit record can help to flesh out your complete financial picture. The other side of your physical finances is your credit standing. Knowing what is on your credit record can help to clarify your focus when dealing with your future financial endeavors. Credit is needed for many things that the average individual does not have the ability to pay cash for. Knowing where you stand credit-wise will go far in your ability to apply for and utilize extended lines of credit.

You can monitor your credit through your credit report or your FICO score. You credit report can be obtained for free from www.annualcreditreport.com once a year. While this is a useful method of learning about what exists on your credit record, it does force you to act on the information quickly. If you end up not acting on information that needs to be changed and it has a further effect on your report, you may end up paying to get an updated version of your credit record.

Your FICO score will allow you to know what your potential creditors are looking at when they pull your credit. Your credit score can be provided in multiple ways and can be viewed for free on www.creditkarma.com with weekly updates. This can keep you abreast of any changes being made to your credit standing while giving you a clear idea of what your credit health is. Having this information can pull your entire financial picture into clear view.

 

Having a full understanding of your finances is a dream come true to many Americans. With the abundance of information floating around, it can be hard to pin down expenses, incomes and debts. Even with your debts in front of you, it might still be hard to handle, especially if the debt is immense. Let Guardian Debt Relief help to complete your financial spring cleaning. Our debt relief specialists can help to resolve your financial issues and give you the peace of mind you’ve been looking for. Our consultation is free and the chance to become debt free is worth a phone call. Take the first step and contact Guardian Debt Relief today.

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